December 7, 2018

‘Tis the Season

Every town has a few holiday traditions, and the Outer Banks is no exception! For the past 49 years, Jim and Ann Poulos have made their house into a winter wonderland every Christmas season! The first 10 years in Virginia Beach, and the last 39 years in Kill Devil Hills. And we’re not talking about a few lights… they have  received national recognition many times for their display!

However, this will be the first season without Ann, who sadly passed in August. Before she passed, she didn’t make her husband promise to do the lights, instead she told him, “You’re going to do it.” And that is just what the family is doing! This years lights were officially lit the night of Thanksgiving and will run every night after sunset until the first of the year. It’s been a Christmas tradition for decades for many Outer Banks families and even a few famous people too! The display includes hundreds of thousands of lights, inflatables, hand-made figures, and even flying reindeer! This year, the community pulled together to make sure that the lights would be set to light on Thanksgiving night. To read more about the The Poulos Christmas House tradition, you can visit the Outer Banks Voice article here. The “Christmas House” is located on Ocean Acres Drive for all to enjoy!

poulos-outer-banks-christmas-house

If you’re familiar with Manteo, you may know about the hidden gem, The Christmas Shop. It has been open since 1967 and spreads Christmas cheer throughout the year, even in the warmer months! From ornaments, to lights, to local art, and more, the Christmas Shop is another local favorite that draws guests in from near and far!

When you have the ocean right in your backyard, you should always use that to your advantage! In this case, you will find that many OBX locals love having a holiday oyster roast since the oysters are at their peak! While the oysters are always fresh here and great to eat, it is also a social activity that can be enjoyed with family and friends. If you’re looking for a new tradition for your family, this could be it! Enjoy this Southern Living article on hosting your own oyster roast. Dig in!

Easy Lowcountry Oyster Roast

So whether it’s roasting some marshmallows (or in our case oysters!), picking the perfect Christmas tree, or visiting a lights display – be sure to enjoy this Holiday Season with those you love!

Join the conversation! 73 Comments

  1. My family always has dinner together Christmas Eve and plays a Christmas themed game where we each ask one question (e.g., Which of Santa’s reindeers would you be and why? If you could spend Christmas with any historical figure who would it be?) and everyone in the family gets to answer.

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  2. My family spends the first weekend every December in Manteo for the tree lighting, parade and tour of homes. We’ve spiced it up the last few years and made homemade ugly sweaters to wear to all the events. We’ve been a big hit!!

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  3. Traveling to our children’s houses and taking them out to eat Chinese after all the gifts are opened. Visiting with family is how we spend Christmas Day.

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  4. Christmas Day Brunch with family and friends. The hectic time of shopping, wrapping, decorating, celebrating, all done, and we fix a big batch of mimosas and relax!

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  5. So many favorite traditions but one is going to the Poulos house.
    Of course going to Christmas eve Mass and celebrating what the holiday is truly about if the very favorite.

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  6. Holiday baking, including cookies for friends and family and making fresh cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

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  7. My favorite tradition is the Family Breskfast on Christmas Morning

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  8. Our family tradition started when I was 12. We pulled up the night of Dec. 24th for our Disney Vacation. We couldn’t find many places open for a late dinner besides an oyster bar. Well…steamer bucket it was! I remember that night like it was yesterday (32 yrs later lol)….I would have to say it was a truly magical night ❤️ Ever since we always do steam pots on Christmas Eve and there is no better place to have them than on the Outer Banks (except for a 12 yr old at Disney) ❤️

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  9. Love going with friends and family to look at the Christmas lights!

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  10. I love baking cookies with my daughters and now, just beginning to with our grandchildren. We get a fresh tree cut together and then decorate it while listening to Christmas carols. On Christmas Eve we have finger foods and read the Real Christmas story with just the advent candles burning. On Christmas morning we wake up to breakfast with blueberry muffins and Christmas juice… half cranberry and half orange juice. It’s hard to pick just one favorite!

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  11. Our favorite Holiday tradition is watching the Polar Express in Christmas Eve in new Christmas PJs and reading our “God Gave Us Christmas” book before bed

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  12. Decorating the Christmas tree

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  13. Decorating the house and tree

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  14. I look forward to spending time with my family the most. We get together to go shopping, cook meals, and enjoy each others company. I also love spreading Christmas cheer through my church and any way I can.

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  15. Having Christmas Eve at our house with lots of finger foods., then a big breakfast with the in-laws on Christmas Day.

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  16. My fav holiday tradition in my family is that whenever white Christmas is on … we watch it! Mom and I both love bing crosby and we watch that movie as many times as possible in the season. It’s a staple for the season for us

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  17. Riding around looking at lights with the kids. We have a favorite one that takes a trolley around a park.

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  18. We pick one night during the holiday season to have appetizers and desserts as our dinner. With so much variety, it’s turned into I ur favorite holiday meal!

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  19. Decorating Christmas cookies! Never to old to get something special ready for Santa!

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  20. Baking Christmas cookies is my favorite tradition. Before with my children and now with grandchildren.

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  21. My favorite tradition is baking cookies with my family!

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  22. Decorating the house and tree!!

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  23. Checking out the gingerbread competition and having a peaceful drink after family time in Asheville!

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  24. Our family goes to the 5 o’clock Christmas Eve service at First Presbyterian Church here in Greenville North Carolina. The young children are allowed to participate in the service, in the telling of the Christmas story. It is such a beautiful and thoughtful time of reflection and preparation. With then return home, And make Christmas dinner together. Years ago the boys (15 and almost 18 now!), decided spaghetti was the perfect Christmas Eve meal. We then bake cookies, and still, place them for Santa. We still end our evening reading Twas the Night Before Christmas!🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

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  25. My favorite tradition is driving aroynd looking at lights

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  26. My favorite holiday tradition is enjoying my mom’s fudge. It was her Mother’s recipe and someday it will be my turn to make it. She only makes it at Christmas and I dream about it all year long. My son now also loves it so we are four generations deep with it. Last year, my mom found the plate that my
    Nana used to use for her fudge and gave it to me. It is now a prized possession. I lost my Nana when I was only 8 but it’s these little traditions that keep us close to our loved ones and truly make the holidays special! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  27. Taking the kids to see the lights and making cookies to give to friends and coworkers

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  28. We love walking our neighborhood and looking at the Christmas lights. 🌲🎄

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  29. Watching a Christmas story over and over!

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  30. Christmas Eve activities like Santa on the fire engine riding throughout the town giving candy canes; trimming the tree then family church time.

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  31. My favorite tradition is having all my siblings and nieces stay over at my mom’s from Christmas Eve through the day after Christmas. Santa comes to my parents home for Christmas, not theirs. Its three days of fun and laughter, especially having the young nieces around.

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  32. Reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in new pjs

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  33. For many years I fought the idea of color lights on a our tree. About 7 years ago I decided why not just out more than one tree up. So that’s what we have done since. All of our collected ornaments go onto our “eclectic” tree with color lights. Our other 2 trees have white lights and are more of a theme 😊

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  34. elizabethan gardens Christmas lights!

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  35. Baking cookies with my daughter!

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  36. My favorite Christmas tradition is opening our home on Christmas Eve to friends and family for a night of fellowship, fun and laughter. This is the one time of year we are all together and it is the most relaxing and enjoyable time with up to 32 people!

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  37. My favorite tradition is getting a hot chocolate or coffee and driving around to see all the festive lights!

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  38. We love our holiday lights, too! A fresh tree, and surf and turf for dinner! 💗

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  39. Beautiful! Definitely would love to visit one of these holiday seasons!

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  40. My favorite tradition is watching It’s a Wonderful Life and then playing a trivia game with my whole family

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  41. My favorite holiday tradition is my all day Saturday cookie baking with my mom dancing in the kitchen to our NSYNC Christmas CD.

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  42. My favorite holiday tradition is my all day Saturday cookie bake with my mom and dancing in the kitchen to our *NSYNC Christmas CD.

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  43. Reveillon was a Christmas tradition in our family.
    A plentiful and varied scrumptious meal after midnight mass loaded with meats, sides, pies, cakes, etc.

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  44. I love to go look at Christmas lights! On the obx and in Richmond. 🙂

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  45. My favorite holiday tradition is cooking a big breakfast on Christmas morning, sitting in the rubble of open gifts and watching the kids play. Then just relaxing in jammies all day with the family.

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  46. My favorite holiday tradition is coming down to the outer banks the week between Christmas and New Years and spending some time in my happy place- the OBX! My whole family and I travel down from MD to enjoy our rental house off-season and it is one of our favorite times to be here because it’s so quiet and relaxing. 🎄❤️🎅🏼

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  47. A tradition that my family has created with our daughter is that on Christmas Eve we hang out and spend the night playing board and card games. Life is busy and its nice to take the time and just enjoy each others company.

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  48. My favorite tradition of my husband and I is honestly (and I’m not being a suck up!) going by ourselves to the beach in the winter. Sometimes it’s warmer than expected but most the time it’s cold and we’re good with that! We go to the Elizabethan Gardens to see the lights, and we walk the beach all bundled up, searching for sea glass. Nothing like it!

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  49. Our most meaningful tradition is decorating the tree! When we are done we turn off all the lights except for the fireplace and the tree, grab a couple of our favorite drinks, turn on the Christmas music, sit down enjoy our tree and the quiet time together! Merry Christmas!

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  50. I love baking Christmas Cookies with my three girls and watching Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate. This time of year is a wonderful reminder of all of the blessings we have to be thankful for.

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About Sanderling Resort

Oceanfront Luxury. Toes in the Sand. Romance. Natural Beauty. Casual Elegance.

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Family Fun, Local Activities

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